[MUD-Dev] Group mechanics/Leadership [was: Room descriptions]

Shawn Halpenny malachai at iname.com
Mon Apr 27 10:32:47 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Sun, Apr 26, 1998 at 02:40:54PM -0700, John Bertoglio wrote:

[ some cut & some reformatting ]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Woolcock <KaVir at dial.pipex.com>
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
> Date: Sunday, April 26, 1998 9:52 AM
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Room descriptions, was Re: Roleplaying
> >John Bertoglio wrote:
> >
> >> As the party (or members of the party) performed actions, the same
> >> mechanism which improves individual skills would work (at a
> >> reduced level) on the party stats. Take the ambush skill. Since
> >> the ambush is assumed to being organized by the person in the
> >> group with the highest ambush skill, 
> >
> >But it could only be organised by the person in the group with the
> >highest leadership skill ;)  You might well have a great group, but
> >with no clear leader you're not going to get anywhere.  
> >
> A small disagreement. The strength of the leadership skill would
> control the size and availablility of skill bonuses. Without a great
> leader, great bonuses do not happen. But anyone can organize a party
> for any purpose. A person without leadership skill could not name the
> party (the game would provide a random description based on the
> composition of the group) or derive any party bonuses, but could
> still carry a boat or a log. The party would be volatile and
> disappear from the world when it disbanded. There would be a chance
> (small chance) a leader of such a party would gain a basis in the
> Leadership skill and be able to form non-volatile parties. I would
> also think a party leader could designate someone in the party as
> second-in-command and increase the chance this player would gain the
> leadership skill or increase the existing skill. I intend to make
> Leadership a very expensive skill, one that is probably only
> *affordable* during character creation by using a "skill bundle"
> which is associated with a certain life history. Aquiring it during
> game play will be very difficult.  

How would the code determine how good a leader someone is?  What is it
that determines whether or not the leader's Leadership (LS) skill
increases or decreases?  Is leadership transferrable if someone with a
higher LS skill joins the group?  If so, does the transfer happen
automatically or does the newcomer have to run a sort of gauntlet to
earn the trust of the group?  (Bubba can tell Boffo that he has
dazzling LS skill, but what way does Boffo have of knowing Bubba's on
the level?)  Could the leadership of the group be forcefully overtaken
even by a group member with less LS skill than the current leader?  If
the leader leaves the group, what mechanics does the group assume? 
What if the second-in-command dies?  

I think it would be possible for anyone in the group to follow anyone
else in the group.  Perhaps that would shift the change rate on the
leader's LS skill:  the more followers, the more your LS goes up.  This
can lead to the above Bubba joining Boffo's group and the group
internally splitting as some followed Bubba and others followed Boffo. 
Should this be mirrored by creation of a new meta-character and then
leave two groups in its wake?  If the factions remained in the same
group, with gradually more followers forsaking Bubba and joining Boffo,
Boffo's LS begins to drop.  

There is more to leadership, though, than just having people follow
you.  How does code determine if Boffo's LS goes up or down?  So Boffo
collects a bunch of people to go kill the dragon, and they do.  Is
group success at any action sufficient cause to raise Boffo's LS?  

What about the entire group going into the bakery to haggle for bread? 
I don't think Boffo's LS should go up if he happens to get a good price
on a bulk buy.  Killing a dragon can take teamwork, and perhaps that's
the distinguishing characteristic.  Should there be a way to attach a
teamwork value to actions?  

Is it possible that not _all_ the group members participate?  What if
Piddle wets himself every time he gets within smelling distance of a
dragon?  And there's no amount of leadership that will get him to
thrust a sword at one...but the group needs him to help them creep into
the dragon's lair because he's the stealthiest?  

Shawn Halpenny

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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